Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D.

Professor, President and Chief Executive Officer, Center for Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI). Member of the LJI Coronavirus Task Force.

Dr Saphire’s research focuses on the structural biology of viruses to understand pathogen-mediated pathology, such as hemorrhagic fever caused by Ebola.  By solving the molecular structures of viral glycoproteins Dr. Saphire has shown how viruses remodel those structures as they invade cells or suppress immune responses. These insights have led to understanding how and where human antibodies can defeat these viruses and to providing roadmaps for medical defense strategies and the generation of therapeutic antibodies. Dr. Saphire is currently leading global efforts to identify and evaluate antibody therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2 to prevent and treat COVID-19.